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Solid Energy inquiry veto an insult to public

Clayton
COSGROVE
SOE Spokesperson
21 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Solid Energy inquiry veto an insult to public

National’s decision to rule out a select committee inquiry into the collapse of Solid Energy is an insult to New Zealanders, especially the current and former workers at the company who deserve answers, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“National party toadies have today voted down my proposed select committee inquiry into the huge failings of Solid Energy. John Key said he didn’t want one and his lackeys have toed the line. They don’t want one because the finger of blame would point to the Beehive.

“This is a slap in the face to taxpayers who will have to fork out $389 million to get this company back on its feet. It is a huge insult to the hundreds of workers and their families who have lost their jobs and had their lives ruined by the collapse of this company.

“National seems to think the public has enough information to make up its mind. But the only information we have is an annual report and three hours of select committee testimony, much of which was deliberate obfuscation.

“There are major questions that remain unanswered.

• Why was the Government asleep at the wheel?
• Where was the oversight that an SOE requires?
• Why was the Government oversight of the Board so lax?
• Why was there no intervention in this company when ministers knew things were going wrong as early as 2009?
• What impact did the Government’s demands for more gearing and dividends have?
• Why did senior management make decisions that were not in the best interests of the company and its employees?

“The Government has ducked for cover and Solid Energy has treated the select committee with contempt. The public wants answers and so does Labour. We will not rest until we have found out the truth behind Solid Energy’s collapse,” says Clayton Cosgrove.

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